DAK’ART 2014

11ème Biennale de l’Art Africain Contemporain 09/05>08/06

Mimi Cherono Ng’ok


  • © April Banks

Untitled from the other country serie : Installation photographique, photographies analogiques, dimensions variables, 2008 - 2013, © Mimi Cherono Ng’ok.

The Other Country (here in the form of extracts entitled Untitled) is a work that highlights the complexity related to immigration and the return to the home country. After studying in South Africa, Cherono returns to her country of origin where she is forced to see the emptiness that was installed through the years. Between documentary and photographic diary work, the work makes tangible what is intangible, namely the emotion reminiscence. The return to what is now another country, another part of the self is not a moment of reconciliation, but the time to share a lasting common history, although limited by distance in time. The Other Country is an introspection of the artist. Each image is the result of a definition and redefinition of the self through the concept of home. The environment of the Kenyan middle class that once was a landmark, the social basis of the artist, is just a distant memory. By photographing landscapes, architecture, family members, still lifes, indoors and even self-portraits, Cherono explores the space between her country and herself. Thus, it questions the notion of intimacy in relation to the place, belonging and dislocation.

Born in 1983, Mimi Cherono Ng’ok is a Kenyan photographer, based in Nairobi. In 2006 she completed a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Arts from the University of Cape Town. With support from the Edward Ruiz photography mentorship award, Cherono completed a photographic series on African immigrants living in South Africa and had a solo exhibition at the Market Photo Workshop gallery in Johannesburg and Maputo. She has participated in exhibitions in Cape Town, Nairobi, Atri (Italy), Tarifa (Spain) and Berlin. In 2011, Cherono won 1st place in the PhotoAfrica contest for her photograph ‘Self-portrait.’ In 2010 she was commissioned by the African Arts Institute in Cape Town, to support the publication ‘Voices, African Artists living and working in Cape Town;’ her photographs are included with a compilation of testimonials documenting refugees artists living in South Africa. Recently, she was selected as a 2013 Sacatar fellow in Bahia, Brazil.